Parliamentary Questions: 24th-February- 3rd March
Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many new drivers accumulated six penalty points within the two year probationary period in each of the last five years;
(2) how many notifications by a court or fixed penalty office were received by the DVLA following the accumulation of six penalty points by a new driver within the two year probationary period in each of the last five years;
(3) how many notifications of endorsement from a court or fixed penalty office of a driver who meets the criteria of the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 were received by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency following the accumulation of six penalty points by a new driver within the two year probationary period in each of the last five years.
Stephen Hammond: The information requested is available only from 2010 onwards. Details of driving convictions prior to this will have been removed from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) record on expiry of the endorsement—normally four years from the date of the offence.
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Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 5 February 2014, Official Report, column 238W, on driving: licensing, what proportion of new drivers have had their licence revoked by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency during their two year probationary period in each of the last five years.
Stephen Hammond: The information requested is not usually collated. In 2009 the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency did carry out detailed analysis of driving tests; this analysis showed that of the 714,904 drivers who passed their first test in 2009, 12,666 were revoked during the probationary period. This equates to 2% of the total.
Large Goods Vehicles: Speed Limits
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the benefits and costs of increasing the speed limit for hauliers from 40 mph to 50 mph where current limits apply.
Stephen Hammond: The Department consulted in November 2012 on raising the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on single carriageway roads from 40 to 50 mph. An impact assessment was released with that consultation, and has been placed in the Libraries of the House. Ministers are considering whether to raise the speed limit following consultation, and a further impact assessment is being undertaken as part of that process.
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Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) pursuant to the answer of 11 February 2014, Official Report, column 525W, on cycling, if he will publish a breakdown of the source of funding for cycling by (a) central government, (b)local authority and (c) other sources in each of the last eight years;
(2) pursuant to the answer of 11 February 2014, Official Report, column 525W, on cycling, how much was spent on cycling by(a) scheme and (b) source of funding by (i) central government, (ii) local authority and (iii) other sources in each of the last eight years.
Mr Goodwill [holding answer 24 February 2014]: The breakdown of funding by scheme for this administration, which all came from central Government sources:
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Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend the Cycle Racing on the Highway Regulations 1960.
Mr Goodwill: The Department is currently considering updates to the Cycle Racing on Highways Regulations (1960) proposed as part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge. The consultation on proposed changes closed in October 2013, and legislative proposals will be brought forward once responses have been fully considered.
Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet Google to discuss copycat websites which charge for driving licence renewals.
Stephen Hammond: Cabinet Office Government Digital Service (GDS) is leading a cross-Government exercise to gather information about the operation of third-party websites which offer services associated with official Government transactions, including driving licence applications.
The Minister for Civil Society, my hon. Friend the Member for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner (Mr Hurd), and the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, my hon. Friend the Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), are meeting with Google shortly to discuss its terms and conditions for advertising the services offered by these third party web sites. GDS will also engage with other internet search engine providers about this issue.
Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to review the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1988 relating to the holding of motor vehicle races on public roads.
Mr Goodwill: We are reviewing the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1988 relating to the holding of motor vehicle races on public roads in close partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). DCMS plan to hold a public consultation in the near future.
Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make if his policy not to increase the requirements of roadworthiness testing of powered two-wheelers; and if he will make a statement.
Stephen Hammond: The Department has no plans to increase roadworthiness test requirements for two wheeled motor vehicles.
Motorway Service Areas: Alcoholic Drinks
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Highways Agency was consulted on the decision to allow the sale and consumption of alcohol in motorway service areas.
Mr Goodwill: As a government agency, it is not appropriate for the Highways Agency to formally respond to the consultation. The agency helped the Home Office to develop the impact assessment published alongside their consultation and will continue to work together with the Home Office and other partners in agreeing a way forward.
Public Transport: Visual Impairment
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to make travel easier for those with sight loss; and if he will make a statement.
Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport is committed to removing the barriers to travel for all passengers, including those with visual impairments and reduced mobility. We are working with the transport industry to deliver a range of initiatives to provide a more accessible and fair transport system, including setting deadlines for accessible buses and trains, and improving the numbers of transport staff who have received disability awareness training.
Our commitments have been published in the Department’s Accessibility Action Plan, which is available on the Department’s website:
Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the Highways Agency’s budget has been spent on (a) each scheme aimed at improving weather resilience and (b) each scheme responding to additional pressures on roads as a result of climate change in each of the last five years.
Mr Goodwill: The strategic road network has proved to be very resilient during the recent period of unprecedented weather. There have been very few closures over this current winter, showing that there is a proportionate level of resilience built into the network. This is due to network design standards that provide appropriate resilience for severe weather events together with ongoing cyclical investment to maintain network condition. The agency also takes proactive action to mitigate the impacts of severe weather events and maintain resilience, for example by closing temporarily some bridges to help avoid high-sided vehicles being blown over.
For the years in which figures are available, the agency has allocated the following capital funding for schemes predominantly classed as drainage or geotechnical (ground) works.
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Stephen Hammond): I am today publishing the report on the review of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which I announced on 8 October 2013. The Department for Transport commissioned this review as part of its commitment to delivering improved quality and better value motoring services to the public, business and other interested parties.
The review has concluded that while DVLA is an effective organisation that is delivering important services, there is significant scope to increase efficiency. Strategic recommendations have been made covering DVLA’s digital transformation, reducing the burden on customers, modifying the governance and management structure and optimising DVLA’s value as a service provider for Government.
I am content to accept all of the recommendations in the report. I have asked the chief executive to prepare a strategic plan for DVLA on this basis, which prioritises those measures that will bring the greatest advantage to customers.
I am placing a copy of the review and my response in the Libraries of both Houses and on the Department’s website. I would like to thank Mary Reilly and the review team for their work.
Large Goods Vehicles
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2014, Official Report,column 358W, on Large goods vehicles, when he expects the detailed OCRS report to be published.
Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) expect that Goods and Passenger vehicle operators, who have registered for on-line reports, will be able to request a detailed, bespoke Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) report for each of their operator’s licences by the end of May 2014.
Motor Vehicles: Registration
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 28 November 2013, Official Report,column 406W, on vehicle number plates, what recent progress the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has made with the UK Border Force and the police on how data can be used to identify foreign registered vehicles that have been in the UK for longer than six months.
Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is working with the police about a possible pilot exercise. This would involve the police linking their own intelligence along with DVLA data to target overstaying vehicles and take enforcement action. The DVLA and the UK Border Force are continuing to discuss the use of the UK Border Force’s data.
Motorways: Repairs and Maintenance
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Poplar and Limehouse of 12 September 2012, Official Report, column 244W, on motorways: repairs and maintenance, how many people repairing motorways were killed or injured by vehicles in (a) 2012 and (b) 2013.
Mr Goodwill: The table sets out the number of fatal and serious injuries caused by vehicles in incidents which have been recorded on the Motorway and Trunk Road network in England, operated and maintained on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport.
These incidents are specifically related to vehicles driven by members of the public on the strategic road network that resulted in road worker injuries while they were carrying out maintenance and repair activities on behalf of the Highways Agency.
Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an assessment of the risk of serious or fatal injury to powered two wheeler users of Bedfordshire Borough Council’s proposal to include raised curbs between lanes in a turbo style roundabout scheme at the intersection of Union Street, Tavistock Street, Clapham Road and Roff Avenue in Bedfordshire; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Goodwill: Bedford borough council’s turbo style roundabout scheme will be funded by the Department’s Cycle Safety Fund. Bids for the Fund were assessed by a panel from the safety sub-group of the Department’s Cycling Stakeholder Forum. We would expect bidders to have taken vulnerable road users into account in their schemes.
Detailed design of cycling infrastructure, including the wider safety issues linked to new infrastructure, is the responsibility of local traffic authorities. DFT sets the legislative framework for the signs and markings used in cycle facilities, in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions. The Department also provides guidance on designing for cyclists in various documents, primarily Local Transport Note 2/08: Cycle Infrastructure Design. It is for local authorities to ensure that any infrastructure they install is safe and fit for purpose.
The Department will meet with Bedford borough council shortly to discuss concerns raised by the Motorcycle Action Group.
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Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps he has taken against unofficial websites offering government services relating to the application for driving licences.
Stephen Hammond: Cabinet Office Government Digital Service (GDS) is leading a cross-government exercise about the operation of third-party websites which offer services associated with official government transactions, including driving licence applications.
The Minister for Civil Society, my hon. Friend the Member for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner (Mr Hurd), and the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, my hon. Friend the Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), are meeting with Google shortly to discuss its terms and conditions for advertising the services offered by these third party websites. GDS will also engage with other internet search engine providers about this issue.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the risk assessments submitted from the (a)Highways Agency and (b) Metropolitan police on the proposal for a hard shoulder running on the M25 between junctions 23 and 27.
Mr Goodwill: For the all-lane running scheme on the M25 between junctions 23 and 27 the risk-based approach used to determine the expected safety performance will be published on the Highways Agency’s website.
The Highways Agency does not have the authority to publish risk assessments on behalf of the Metropolitan police. They will need to be contacted directly.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what risk assessment was carried out on the proposal for a motorway hard shoulder running on the M25 between junctions 23 and 27; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Goodwill: For the proposed all-lane running scheme on the M25 between junctions 23 and 27 a risk assessment has been carried out that considered the operational risks to the road user and road worker. This methodology was successfully developed on the M42 Active Traffic Management pilot scheme that has been open to traffic since 2006.
The assessment shows that the all-lane running design is likely to provide safety benefits over and above those on a basic three lane motorway.
The assessment shows that no road users will be disproportionately adversely affected and the risk to all users remains tolerable.
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Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent representations his Department has made to the EU for reforms to tyre requirements required during MOTs on (a) buses and (b) coaches;
(2) what his policy is on introducing a maximum age on tyres for use on (a) buses and (b) coaches; 
(3) how many passenger service (a) coaches and (b) buses have failed an MOT as a result of tyre failures in each of the last 10 years.
Stephen Hammond: The Department has not made any representations to the EU for reforms to annual test requirements for tyres fitted to buses or coaches.
The replacement age of vehicle tyres is not legislated for in the United Kingdom or European Union and there is little evidence available on the effects of tyre ageing to support the introduction of a maximum age limit. Appropriate research may help inform decisions on the introduction of a limit and officials are considering whether future studies might be needed.
As an interim measure the Department has published guidance to the bus and coach industry recommending that tyres over 10 years old are not fitted to the front axle of these vehicles.
The Department does not have separate figures of annual test failures for passenger service coaches and buses. However, the following table shows the combined figures for all passenger service vehicles based upon the criteria used by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency who undertake the inspections.
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Rights of Way
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on schemes for (a) cyclists,(b) bridleways and (c) pedestrians in each of the last five years.
Mr Goodwill: The provision of cycling schemes, bridleways and pedestrian facilities are the responsibility of the relevant local authority. We provide funding through the Integrated Transport block to local authorities to use for small transport improvement schemes, which could include those aimed at pedestrians and cyclists or for bridleways.
In addition the Department has provided funding specifically for cycling; I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 25 February 2014, Official Report, column 329W.
Schemes for pedestrians are included in Links to Schools, Local Sustainable Transport Fund and Community Linking Places Fund. Links to Schools was allocated £12 million, Local Sustainable transport Fund £600 million and the Community Linking Places Fund £15.5 million but it is not possible to disaggregate exactly how much was spent on pedestrians. With regards to bridleways, there is no specific funding from the Department.
Road Signs and Markings
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) criteria and (b) guidance his Department has issued to the Highways Agency on the (i) frequency of messaging and (ii) reasons for prioritising messages on overhead gantry signs.
Mr Goodwill: The criteria and guidance the Department for Transport uses to govern the Highways Agency comes from within section 64 of the Road Traffic Act and the traffic signs regulations and general directions. However, neither the Act nor directions prescribe the frequency or reasons for prioritising messages.
Therefore, the agency has developed its own policy for the use of variable signs and signals, agreed with the Department for Transport in December 2011. This policy defines the prioritisation of all messages and the frequency of campaign legends. The frequency with which general traffic management legends are set is dependent on current and future road conditions.
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